Sunday, October 07, 2007

Wild at Heart

If you have a son and are raising him in 21st century America, you probably should read "Wild at Heart". One theme from the book that resonates with me is how often we tell each other "be careful". Most of us lead careful, calculated, and fearful lives. We live days and years driven more by a desire to avoid painful things that might happen than by the desire to experience the fullness of abundant living. It boggles my mind that people who have been given a functioning body and mind will waste both either in the pursuit of money or simply watching others live life. Life is not a spectator sport. For me, watching sports (live or on television) is only useful if it motivates me to be more involved in some way. Why in the world would watching others play be my goal? How does cheering for a team that wins make me a winner? In many ways, I think I have done a lousy job of living what I believe. Sometimes I watch a college football game and become upset that the kids are not giving more effort. I should be out getting in shape so I can give more effort. So all that leads to my attempt to answer the question "Roxy, why would a man your age want to ride and race mountain bikes?" I could write pages in an attempt to answer, but take a look at this picture;

No, I admit this doesn't look like much first. But take a look at the expression on this kid's face just before this picture was taken;

Yes, mud is flying. Bruises and scrapes are likely. A face full of mud is a certainty. But look at his face. This kid is having fun! And the dangers of bruises added to the work of cleaning up all that messy mud is exactly what separates this from a video game where he could PRETEND to jump a motorcycle over a helicopter or some such nonsense. He is learning that you don't just hit "reset" and play again. You FEEL the victories and the losses. "Feeling" and "experiencing" is living. Not "reading about" or "watching". Don't get me wrong, I do not hunger for the pain of crashing and will try to avoid it. But I am willing to accept some sore muscles and minor injuries in pursuit of LIVING life rather than just being aware of it going on around me.


bbeth said...

I think all boys are "wild at heart" and need some safe parameters to practice all of these wild and dangerous things when they are they can grow into leaders as men.
Our society seems to frown on wild and dangerous practices for boys - so - we see the the unacceptable behavior show up at school - and then in the community and then in the courts.

Lerra said...

This subject, as with almost every other subject regarding parenting, is all about moderation. You can be too wild & crazy, or you can be too careful. There is a healthy balance.

Supabloggasuprememama said...

yes, I need to read this book. NO, I will never fully adjust to the scrapes and bruises of my sweet sweet lil boy. (who brought me a rose from the front yard this morning and absolutely melted his mommy's heart)

Jamey said...

I think little girls can be wild at heart too...or old girls...I would love to bite it like this little boy did! Mainly because I'm sure he went sliding down the other side of the hill, and that sounds like lots of fun.

On a serious note...Amen, Laura.